Research in Sustainable Marketing

Time and place Hanken School of Economics, Helsinki, lecture hall A409.

The course dates are Monday, June 10–Friday, June 14, 2024. The days are scheduled from 9:00 until 17:00.

Credits 6 ECTS

Prerequisites None

Learning goal and objectives

After participating in this course, the students will be able to:

deeply understand and critically assess the key concepts, theories, and research traditions in sustainable marketing on different levels of analysis (i.e., consumers, organizations, and the broader society) and in various contexts (introduced in more detail in the course syllabus).

critically assess the sustainability implications of marketing, as well as those of their own research.

evaluate and justify the theoretical and methodological approaches used in academic research on marketing topics that incorporate sustainability.

produce independent academic research (individually and in teams) on marketing topics that incorporate sustainability and communicate it effectively in written and oral forms.

Course Description

There is a need to improve our understanding of the problems and potential of marketing in addressing sustainability challenges. Marketing has played a key role in creating and perpetuating organizational and consumer cultures that have contributed to environmental and social problems. However, as a practice and as a discipline, the role of marketing can also be reversed to promote more sustainable lifestyles and societies, as well as responsible organizations. Marketing is needed to address and transform the most burning challenges of our global world, such as climate change and social inequality.

The course will offer critical and innovative insights into the intersections between marketing and sustainability with a focus on the role of marketing in sustainable development; sustainable marketing in B2B contexts; consumer behavior; digital marketing, technologies, and innovations in sustainable development; and consumer culture theory

Instruction and examination

Pre-course work: Reading articles assigned by the course teachers and reflecting each article to one’s own research. Preparation of a group presentation, which is presented during the course. Students will be assigned to groups shortly after being accepted to the course.

Work during the course: Active participation in five course days, participation in the group presentation.

Final assignment: Learning portfolio based on the learnings from the course.

Grading: Pass / fail.

All assignments must be completed and accepted to pass the course.

Admittance: 25 students are admitted to the course. Please submit the following information to the course coordinator via email by March 15, 2024:

Course application form:

  • Name
  • E-mail
  • University
  • Department
  • Discipline/major
  • Year in doctoral programme
  • Research topic
  • An extended abstract of research proposal (approx. 750-1000 words), including: a. problem background, research gap, and research objective, b. literature review and research framework, c. methodology and expected findings.

Short CV:

  • Relevant education
  • Relevant work experience
  • Relevant skills
  • List of journal publications, conference proceedings, books / book chapters, and working papers.

The applicants will be notified of their acceptance to the course by March 15, 2024.


  • Outi Uusitalo, Professor, University of Jyväskylä.
  • Pauliina Ulkuniemi, Professor, Oulu Business School.
  • Eric Arnould, Professor emeritus, Aalto University, Department of Marketing.
  • Tommi Laukkanen, Professor, University of Eastern Finland.
  • Pia Polsa, Associate Professor, Hanken School of Economics.
  • Hanna Komulainen, Docent, Associate Professor, Oulu Business School.
  • Jani Holopainen, Assistant Professor, University of Eastern Finland.
  • Jenni Sipilä, Academy of Finland Postdoctoral Researcher, LUT University, School of Business.

Course coordinator

Meri-Maaria Frig (